Sly Stoned

The Family Stone



If you've seen the YouTube clips of famed soul singer Sly — the exiled former frontman of Oakland band the Family Stone — featured on the Dick Cavett Show, you probably know why he's no longer listed among the group's personnel. In one interview he appears in a velvet coat, frilly ascot, and felt hat with a feather, and explains that he arrived late because, uh, he cut himself breaking into his own house. Then there was the 2006 Grammy Awards tribute, in which a mohawked Sly came out for a surprise performance, which vaporized about three minutes into "I Want to Take You Higher," when he inexplicably quit the stage. For better or worse, the rest of the family has managed to get on without him. Friday, they'll perform all their gritty funk hits for an audience comprising, at least in part, people who probably first heard the tunes sampled in the music of various Top 40 hip-hop artists. Sponsored by the Ambassadors of American Culture, the show starts at 8 p.m. at Oakland's Historic Sweet's Ballroom. $25-35. or

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